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Season 2021-22
West Ham United (h) Premier League

 

 
Date:
Sunday 15th August 2021, 2pm
Live on Sky Sports

Venue:
 St. James' Park

Conditions: Inundated

 
 

Newcastle

 West Ham United

 

2 - 4

 

 

Teams

Goals

5 mins Quickly celebrating his possession of the number 9 shirt, Callum Wilson headed home a right wing centre provided by Allan Saint-Maximin at the Leazes End after a trademark stepover frenzy from the Frenchman. 1-0

18 mins Aaron Cresswell's low ball across the box from the left flank ended up in the net - the goal given after VAR over-ruled a linesman's offside flag. Tomas Soucek looked to be offside in the middle next to Freddie Woodman and may have got a touch before an even more offside Bowen at the far post seemingly turned it home.

The replay clearly showed the ball was over the line before Bowen's touch and VAR decided Soucek was either onside if he touched it or not interfering with play if he was offside and didn't touch it.
1-1

40 mins An extended period of home pressure ended with Matt Ritchie crossing from the left for Jacob Murphy to steer his header beyond Lukasz Fabianski. Ritchie did well to get his cross over after Miguel Almiron's pass made it difficult and credit to Murphy for precisely picking his spot. 2-1

Half time: Magpies 2 Hammers 1

53 mins Saint-Maximin was dispossessed in midfield and Ritchie then failed to prevent Said Benrahma nodding in at the back post after Michail Antonio dug out a deep cross from the left byline. 2-2

63
 mins Antonio's instinctive header rattled the home post and Murphy conceded a penalty for the merest of contacts on Pablo Fornals as the pair tussled for the rebound - the second debatable VAR decision of the game.

Debutant goalkeeper Freddie Woodman denied Antonio from the spot, but with home players seemingly slow in reacting, Soucek cut short jubilation in the stands by burying the loose ball.
2-3

66 mins Antonio finished off another razor-sharp attack by fizzing the ball past Woodman after Benrahma had played him in. Seconds earlier Isaac Hayden was denied a clear foul by the corner flag when his shirt was pulled inches away from the linesman. There was no advantage in allowing Hayden to get a ball across that was intercepted before West Ham's speedy counter-attack. 2-4

Full time: Magpies 2 Hammers 4

We Said

Steve Bruce:

"Its the big turning point in the game (the penalty decision).

In the Premier League, its fine margins. Once we went chasing the game we made it very difficult for ourselves.

"Why didnt the referee have a look at the monitor rather than someone else 300 miles away? If hed have done that after looking at what Ive seen four or five times he might have turned round and said thats a bit harsh.

"I don't think there was much wrong with us offensively but it's about getting that balance right isn't is? Unfortunately, we gave away too many soft goals.

"As soon as we chase the game then we left ourselves exposed and open, we simply cant afford to do that at this level.

"Let me tell you, Ive said it since weve had empty stadiums how much weve missed the supporters and the support. The spectacle for me has not been the same since the crowds not here. But a big well done to them. To have over 50,000 is quite remarkable.

"Well keep monitoring to see what weve got, see what becomes available but at this particular moment Im delighted that weve got Joe Willock in.

"Well see if theres anybody who can make us better and if there is then well try. My job is to improve us, so all over the pitch we look at so thats what well try and do."

They Said


David Moyes said: 

"I thought it was a great game, I really enjoyed it myself. The first half was end-to-end, unfortunately we gave them a bit of a leg up in giving them a second goal.

"I thought we had done enough to be in front even then, I thought we played well, but we didn't make the final pass as well as we should have done and we didn't defend a couple of crosses that well.

"There was no message
[at half-time], I thought we'd done a lot. I was more annoyed because of how we'd done defensively. We also had so many counter-attacks, but we didn't make the final pass well enough. We needed to do that better and I thought we did.

"I was thrilled with the performance. The players did a great job today, with 50,000 Geordies here and there was a goal after three minutes, so there was a lot of character shown by the players.

"Last season, we were talking about teams winning away because there was no crowd in the stadium. But I think we approached the game exactly as we would have done at home. We want to go win, attack and score goals.

"I think we're a pretty good watch and I think we were last year, but I don't want us to be losing two goals every week because it's not my style. But I like the thought that we're scoring four because that's always good.

"I would expect so
(to add to the squad), but if the players perform as well as they did last season and today, it means whoever we've got to bring in has got to be at a very good level."
 

Stats


Since beating Spurs 2-1 in August 2012, Newcastle haven't won their first home league game of the season, today being a ninth successive failure to do so in both the Premier League and Championship:

2012/13 Spurs won 2-1
2013/14 West Ham drew 0-0
2014/15 Manchester City lost 0-2
2015/16 Southampton drew 2-2
2016/17 Huddersfield Town lost 1-2
2017/18
Spurs lost 0-2
2018/19 Spurs lost 1-2
2019/20 Arsenal lost 0-1
2020/21 Brighton lost 0-3
2021/22 West Ham lost 2-4

Callum Wilson netted his thirteenth PL goal for Newcastle, taking him one ahead of Steven Taylor, Ruel Fox and Kevin Nolan (here today as part of the away coaching staff) and level with Hatem Ben Arfa in the rankings. Unlike any of the previous twelve, this one was scored in the first half.

Wilson's fifth minute effort was the quickest start to a season by NUFC since Tino Asprilla bagged a second minute goal against Sheffield Wednesday at SJP in August 1997. Stuart Pearce was present at both games - playing for Newcastle in 1997 and coaching West Ham in 2021.

Jacob Murphy scored his fourth PL goal for the Magpies and the first at SJP following efforts at Manchester City, Wolves and Burnley. Like Wilson, today was also the first time he'd netted before half time (NB: Murphy's League Cup goal at Morecambe last season was scored in the first half).

Freddie Woodman became the 247th player to represent the club in the PL, making his bow in our 997th fixture and becoming the thirteenth goalkeeper to appear for the club in the PL (debut scoreline in brackets):

Pavel Srnicek (started, lost 0-1)
Tommy Wright (sub, lost 1-2)
Mike Hooper (started, won 2-0)
Shaka Hislop (started, won 3-0)
Shay Given (started, won 2-1)
Steve Harper (sub, won 3-1)
Jon Karelse (started, lost 2-4)
Tim Krul (started, won 1-0)
Rob Elliot (started, won 4-2)
Jak Alnwick (sub, won 2-1)
Karl Darlow (started, lost 0-1)
Martin Dubravka (started, won 1-0)
Freddie Woodman (started, lost 2-4)

Newcastle made their competitive senior debut wearing Castore kit.

Although they've scored three goals in a game at SJP twice in the PL era, one has to go back to December 1960 for the last time West Ham scored more than that here before today. That was a 5-5 draw in the old First Division.

Hammers in Toon - PL era:

2021/22 lost 2-4 Wilson, Murphy
2020/21
won 3-2 og, Joelinton, Willock
2019/20 drew 2-2 Almiron, Shelvey
2018/19 lost 0-3
2017/18 won 3-0 Joselu, Clark, Mitrovic
2015/16 won 2-1 Perez, Wijnaldum
2014/15 won 2-0 Sissoko, Gutierrez
2013/14 drew 0-0
2012/13 lost 0-1
2010/11 won 5-0 Best 3, Nolan, Lovenkrands
2008/09 drew 2-2 Owen, Carroll
2007/08 won 3-1 Viduka 2, N'Zogbia
2006/07 drew 2-2 Milner, Solano
2005/06 drew 0-0
2002/03 won 4-0 LuaLua 2, Shearer, Solano
2001/02 won 3-1 Shearer, LuaLua, Robert
2000/01 won 2-1 Cort, Solano
1999/00 drew 2-2 Dabizas, Speed
1998/99 lost 0-3
1997/98 lost 0-1
1996/97 drew 1-1 Beardsley
1995/96 won 3-0 Albert, Asprilla, Ferdinand
1994/95 won 2-0 Clark, Kitson
1993/94 won 2-0 Cole 2

NUFC - opening PL results:

1993/94 Spurs (h) lost 0-1
1994/95 Leicester City (a) won 3-1
1995/96 Coventry City (h) won 3-0
1996/97 Everton (a) lost 0-2
1997/98 Sheffield Wednesday (h) won 2-1
1998/99 Charlton Athletic (h) drew 0-0
1999/00 Aston Villa (h) lost 0-1
2000/01 Manchester United (a) lost 0-2
2001/02 Chelsea (a) drew 1-1
2002/03 West Ham (h) won 4-0
2003/04 Leeds United (a) drew 2-2
2004/05 smoggies (a) drew 2-2
2005/06 Arsenal (a) lost 0-2
2006/07 Wigan Athletic (h) won 2-1
2007/08 Bolton Wanderers (a) won 3-1
2008/09 Manchester United (a) drew 1-1
2010/11 Manchester United (a) lost 0-3
2011/12 Arsenal (h) drew 0-0
2012/13 Spurs (h) won 2-1
2013/14 Manchester City (a) lost 0-4
2014/15 Manchester City (h) lost 0-2
2015/16 Southampton (h) drew 2-2
2017/18 Spurs (h) lost 0-2
2018/19 Spurs (h) lost 1-2
2019/20 Arsenal (h) lost 0-1
2020/21 West Ham (a) won 2-0
2021/22 West Ham (h) lost 2-4
 

Waffle

Over 50,000 fans were at Gallowgate for Sunday's season-opener, as the hosts led twice but ultimately ended up empty-handed after a pulsating afternoon. 

Newcastle led from the fifth minute, when Callum Wilson headed home a right wing centre excellently provided by Allan Saint-Maximin at the Leazes End.

That lead soon was wiped out when Aaron Cresswell's low ball ended up in the net - the goal given after VAR over-ruled a linesman's offside flag. 

The Magpies came close to restoring their advantage when Wilson tried a clever back flick, before Miguel Almiron shaved the crossbar soon after.

Steve Bruce's side were ahead again five minutes before the break; an extended period of pressure ending with Matt Ritchie crossing from the left for Jacob Murphy to head beyond Lukasz Fabianski.

Some sloppy defending then gifted the visitors a second equaliser eight minutes into the second period; Saint-Maximin dispossessed in midfield and Ritchie failing to prevent Said Benrahma nodding in at the back post after Michail Antonio dug out a deep cross from the left byline.

The pivotal moment of the game came just after the hour mark however, Antonio rattling the home goal frame and Murphy conceding a penalty for the merest of contacts on Pablo Fornals after reaching the ball as the pair tussled for the rebound - the second debatable VAR decision of the game.

Debutant goalkeeper Freddie Woodman denied Antonio from the spot, but with home players seemingly slow in reacting, Tomas Soucek cut short jubilation in the stands by burying the loose ball.

Antonio then took Benrahma's through ball and finished off another razor-sharp attack by fizzing the ball past Woodman for West Ham's fourth of the afternoon. And that really was that - The Magpies never looking like over-turning a two-goal deficit in the final quarter.

For much of the afternoon there was too much happening on the pitch for anti-Bruce or Ashley sentiments to be expressed - while going 2-4 down led to spectators drifting away rather than manning the barricades.
 

While there was cause for optimism from the fluid attacking of the forward line, the defence looked especially porous - even taking into the account the presence of an unfamiliar goalkeeper who never looked particularly eager to come off his line.

In fairness this isn't a new situation; the balancing act between scoring and stopping goals referenced by Rafa Benitez with his "short blanket" comment.

Concerns were raised today by our lack of pace in the trio of central defenders and the ease with which space was opened up beyond the wing backs. Jamal Lewis may have advanced his case to start without kicking a ball.

The afternoon may have begun with roars to greet new signing Joe Willock, but by the end the cheering voices were in Leazes Level 7 - those below witnessing a pertinent reminder of the problems that remain unaddressed.

Our 25m arrival from Arsenal may be capable of many things, but shoring up a suspect defence surely isn't one of them - even if his midfield mobility would have been beneficial today.

Just over a fortnight before the transfer window closes, work remains to be done before it can be claimed that the club really went "above and beyond" in the words of the Head Coach.

PS: Despite the unfavourable scoreline, today was a microcosm of everything we've missed since March 2020; be it the cheery stewards or even the eccentric slack jaw in the row behind - humanity in all of its many guises. The lack of hot water in the toilets was rather less pleasing however, given the current focus on hygiene.

On the pitch, the mood swung from elation to deflation as dreams were dashed. It's still great to be back though, even if only to witness this all first-hand rather than via the unpalatable alternative of TV.


Biffa


Page last updated 21 June, 2022